Waayaha Cusub peace concert coming to Mogadishu

By Rajab Ramah in Nairobi

March 08, 2013

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Waayaha Cusub, a Somali hip-hop group based in Kenya, plans to travel to Mogadishu in March to bring music and messages of peace back to the city through the Somali Sunrise Concert Tour for Peace.

  • Hip-hop group Waayaha Cusub will travel to Mogadishu in March for the last leg of its concert tour to promote peace. [File]

    Hip-hop group Waayaha Cusub will travel to Mogadishu in March for the last leg of its concert tour to promote peace. [File]

  • Kenyan Malindi band Kombo Chokwe and Afro Simba are scheduled to perform on the Kenyan leg of the tour and in Mogadishu. [File]

    Kenyan Malindi band Kombo Chokwe and Afro Simba are scheduled to perform on the Kenyan leg of the tour and in Mogadishu. [File]

"Peace is returning to Somalia, and musicians and other artists should also return to solidify the peace efforts," said Akhyaar Abdulahi Ali, known as Shiine, founder of Eastleigh-based Waayaha Cusub.

"There have been limited music performances in Mogadishu for fear of attacks from militants," Shiine told Sabahi. "This will be the biggest music concert in 20 years."

Organisers expect more than 5,000 people and 10 guest artists to attend the Mogadishu Music Festival. Because of security concerns, the exact date and venue will not be announced until shortly before the concert.

The Mogadishu Municipality is working around-the-clock to prepare for the event, provide needed security and ensure its success, Benadir administration spokesperson Mohamed Yusuf Osman told Sabahi.

'We want to tell everyone to leave violence behind'

Shiine said the concert is scheduled to last more than six hours, during which organisers will hand out fliers and t-shirts with messages of peace and hope.

"We are not charging any gate fees and we encourage people to attend and feel safe because the government has promised to provide adequate security drawn from the national police, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the army," he said.

"We realise that militants and their sympathisers have spread to Kenya to try to hoodwink more Kenyan youths into joining them, and this is what we would like the youths here to shun through our music," Shiine said.

The event in Mogadishu will culminate the group's concert tour aimed at promoting peace and stability in East Africa, with stops in Eastleigh, Garissa, Wajir and Dadaab refugee complex.

"Through this concert tour, we want to tell everyone to leave violence behind and encourage Somali citizens who left the country after the violence broke out to return and help re-build the country," said Daniel Gerstle, an American producer who has worked with Waayaha Cusub on various songs and is producing the show.

Gerstle is also the director and founder of Humanitarian Bazaar, which organises music events and provides social platforms to help people survive war and pursue peace.

He said he decided to help organise the Mogadishu concert because music is an effective vehicle for communicating with young people.

"Youths are always disinterested in listening to peace lectures, especially from old folks, but music and other performances provide them not only entertainment but also lessons," he told Sabahi.

Other scheduled musicians

The concert tour features musical acts from Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Afghanistan, the United States and the United Kingdom, among others.

Singers Hodan Abdirahman and Dalmar Yare, both Somali-Americans, confirmed that they would perform at the Mogadishu event, while Kenyan Malindi band Kombo Chokwe and Afro Simba offered to perform during the Kenyan leg of the tour and in Mogadishu.

Vocalist Falis Abdi, rapper Digriyo Abdi, Mogadishu's Motown-style group Waaberi, and rappers Lihle Muhdin and Burhan Ahmed Yare are also scheduled to perform.

Gerstle said various organisations have pledged to support the concert. In addition, Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Ahmed Nur and AMISOM officials offered their help to ensure the event is safe.

"Political leaders in Somalia have announced that calm is returning to Somalia, but in order for us who fled the conflict to prove it to the whole world, we must be willing to come back and contribute to its re-building," Shiine said.

"We must persuade our fellow youths to desist from violence and from joining extremist groups so that we do not relapse to anarchy. That is why every one of us should contribute," he said. "We want to paint a different picture for our country removed from war and blasts, but one of happiness, tolerance and hope."

Abdi Said contributed to this report from Mogadishu.

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Reader's Comments

  • mohamed abdikadir mohamed
    July 5, 2014 @ 09:55:26AM

    Peace be upon you! All Somali people where ever you are, firstly I greet you with the Islamic greetings, really I love very much the Waayaha Cusub band who are really presenting to the Somali people their role in the social affairs, whether it is Somali culture and traditions or songs that are useful to the society.

  • osmaan
    January 12, 2014 @ 06:12:11PM

    iam so glad to u waayaha cusub

  • nasteexo maxamed
    March 22, 2013 @ 09:27:56PM

    It is a good thing that all can be happy for but we pray to God to give us lasting peace and the opportunity to realize the lasting lasting peace. Those having guns have refused to put them down, so we are actually happy if they resorted to rule by use of knowledge and wisdom. Old is the best. We are happy about the current issues. We are tired of being in foreign countries so we pray to God to make our country peaceful.

  • abdirahmaan macalin saalax cali xaad
    March 21, 2013 @ 04:50:54PM

    Praise to God, I am really happy with this forum. I pray to the Almighty God to see it through peacefully and I beseech the Somalu youth to work with the government in bringing peace.

    March 18, 2013 @ 04:30:47AM

    this is a good postive move to transform somali into a peaceful and united nation geared towards social,politica,economical and cutural development for its own and the neihgbouring countries.

  • king
    March 12, 2013 @ 05:54:37AM

    We belong to God The Almighty and to him we shall return. what is this? do you start the new state with songs? I do not think that this state will last long, as it started with sins. There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

  • Adolf michael
    March 9, 2013 @ 08:53:46AM

    Congratulations Somalia for celebrating Women's Day peacefully

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